Book review: More To Life Than Shoes

The full title of this book is More To Life Than Shoes: How to Kick-Start Your Career and Change Your Life, and the authors are Nadia Finer and Emily Nash. If you’d like to know more about the authors and their work, see It’s a very straight talking and easy to read sort of book, so it should have a fairly broad appeal.

The best part of More To Life Than Shoes is given over to interviews with all kinds of different women who have set up successful businesses or made other achievements – these are as diverse as climbing Everest, or becoming the Speaker of the House of Commons. Some of the interviews are extended, others are tiny quotes and soundbites, and the authors provide handy commentary, bullet points and summary boxes throughout to pick out the most important points and maintain the narrative thread.

The book’s divided into different sections about reconnecting with what you’re passionate about, finding your spark, presenting yourself well, working in male-dominated arenas, starting up your own business, flexible working, and being brave. There’s also a useful ‘toolkit’ section at the back of the book that contains all kinds of interesting resources.

One of the most interesting things to emerge from the interviews is that many of these high-flying women describe themselves as shy, or non-confrontational, or less than confident. While some of this might be ‘aww shucks’ stuff, most of it seems quite genuine, and it’s quite heart-warming to see that most of these women have struggled with self-doubt and other problems and managed to overcome them.

There’s none of the awful ‘Yes! You can have it all! If only you believe in this enough!’ motivational BS that simultaneously sells and sinks other books in this genre either, which is quite a relief. It’s more realistic and measured, and a fair amount of time and space is devoted to the difficulties of juggling projects, work duties, interests, partners and kids.

If I have one tiny criticism, I’d have to say that the text about not interviewing Thatcher could have been left out as it doesn’t seem to add much. However, this is a very small niggle and other people might like it.

To sum up: A lively, inspiring book for women who are stuck in a career or personal rut and don’t know where to go next. While it won’t hold your hand and help you write out that business plan, it will get you fired up and feeling hopeful and positive again – it’s up to you to take it from there.

More To Life Than Shoes: How to Kick-Start Your Career and Change Your Life has an RRP of £8.99, and you can currently pick up a copy of it on Amazon for £5.79.


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